JCPOA not dead: Borrell

February 5, 2023 - 21:9

TEHRAN – The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, once again has reiterated that the tattered 2015 Iran nuclear deal is still alive and could be revived. 

In an interview with the Chilean Columna Digital outlet, Borrell said the deal has come to a standstill but it is not dead yet. 

“The agreement itself, which was that it [Iran] not become a nuclear power in exchange for allowing it to participate in international trade and, in particular, to export its oil, was already practically reconstructed,” the EU foreign policy chief said, according to Fars News. 

Borrell then lamented former U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 

“Trump destroyed it for free. Although it worked well, [the United States] withdrew from the agreement. Afterwards, the substantive agreement was practically finished, although it was not possible to reach the end afterwards,” he said. 

Borrell then repeated Western allegations about Iran, saying, “Later, Iran has entered into a dynamic that makes it very difficult to reach agreements of any kind. The repression of internal movements, in particular of women, the application of the death penalty, and the supply of arms to Russia - although they deny that they do so, there is plenty of evidence in this regard - have created an environment in which the nuclear agreement becomes more difficult.”

The chief EU diplomat pointed out that the JCPOA is now rather frozen, but not dead. 

Responding to a question on whether the JCPOA is dead, he said, “No, it's up to me to try to keep it alive, but knowing and repeating every day that what is happening in Iran makes it much more difficult.”

This is the second time in less than two weeks that Borrell reiterates that the JCPOA is still alive. In late January, he said although there has been no progress in negotiations to resurrect the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal is not “dead.”

Borrell made the comments while speaking with media in Brussels on the heels of a gathering of EU foreign ministers.

He asserted that the latest unrest in Iran has complicated efforts to revive the JCPOA.

Iranian officials have repeatedly declared that their country is prepared for a solution that would revive the JCPOA, emphasizing that the U.S., which withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and reinstituted penalties, should give up making unreasonable demands.

Iran has also stated that it has fulfilled its obligations pursuant to the deal and the ball is now in the U.S. court to take a political decision.

Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani has said Tehran is a claimant in talks on reviving the nuclear deal as the United States and the European countries have reneged on their commitments under the deal.

Bagheri Kani, who also serves as deputy foreign minister for political affairs, said it was the United States and its European allies that should prove their commitment to the agreement and make up for their mistakes as soon as possible. He made the remarks during an interview with Press TV's Insight program on Saturday.

"As of now, we are the claimant and the other side are the Americans. They are the ones who should show their commitment in practice if they want to return to the JCPOA, as they say, and show their commitment to the agreement and the same goes for the Europeans. It is the Europeans who proved their non-adherence to our nation through various excuses during the period when the US withdrew from the JCPOA."  

The senior diplomat went on to say the experience of the JCPOA has taught Iran not to rely on foreigners and move forward on its own without waiting for the deal to achieve its goals.

Bagheri Kani said the US and its European allies have proved so far that when it comes to their interests, they don't "honor their promises" and pay no attention to moral principles.

Iran has always adhered to its commitments within the framework of the JCPOA and expects the other parties to the deal to adhere to their commitments as well, he added.

Bagheri Kani said Iran will not be indifferent to the other parties' non-compliance but will not disrupt the process of reviving the agreement either. He also said Tehran is still seriously following the sanctions-removal talks and hopes the efforts will bear fruit.

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